Presser Notes and Quotes: Will Sheehey, Christian Watford

  • 09/22/2011 6:54 pm in

Indiana sophomore Will Sheehey and junior Christian Watford met with the media on Thursday afternoon in Assembly Hall and here are some notes and quotes from that session:

— Let’s go dancing: Watford didn’t shy away from increased expectations this season. Behold: “If we didn’t make it (the NCAA Tournament), I feel like it would be a failure. With what we’ve got now, the time is now.”

— Freshmen transitioning: Sheehey hasn’t said much to the three freshmen, but is trying to lead by example: “You don’t really tell them much. It’s kind of a thing with freshmen that you kind of let them learn on their own because it helps them in a sense. They learn from what you do and follow after so we have to set a good example. They have really caught on and have been doing really well.”

— Cody Zeller’s impact: Watford acknowledged that the arrival of the first McDonald’s All-American of the Tom Crean era should allow him to step out on the perimeter a bit more and also talked about his potential impact: “He is going to draw a lot of attention, more than anything. He’s a big guy that can pass the ball and can see the floor. That’s what we need. He can also finish down there so that’s going to help us, too.”

— A down Big Ten? Not so fast: Preseason chatter has the Big Ten being down this year, but Watford still believes a tough haul lies ahead for the Hoosiers: “It’s going to be tough. The Big Ten always reloads every year. Good players leave and good players come in. It’s always going to be tough and you are always going to have your teams like Ohio State and Wisconsin that are always tough, no matter if it seems like they are having a down year or not.”

— Veterans help shift toward a player-driven program: The presence of seven upperclassmen that have been through at least two years in the program is proving to be beneficial, according to Watford: “It’s more player-driven now because we are a veteran team. We hold each other accountable more than anything. We embrace the hard work – we know the workouts are going to be hard going into it – but we try to attack it. As veterans, we talk to the younger guys and push them through it.”

— A Guard or a forward? Sheehey was asked if he would define himself as a guard or a forward, but the Florida native said it wasn’t important for him to have a set position if he can guard either spot: “When guys talk about being a guard or a forward, they talk about guarding somebody. If I can guard a big or a guard, then it doesn’t matter. I had to guard some bigger guys last year and didn’t do that great of a job, but with a little bit of experience I think will be better this year.”

— Improved handles: Both players cited improved ball handling when asked what they’d been working on the moosst during the offseason. Watford: “Ball handling and ball moves, things like that. With Cody (Zeller) coming in, I feel like I’m going to be able to step out a little bit more so I wanted to work on explosion moves and things like that.” And Sheehey: “Probably ball handling and outside shooting are the two things that I could do on the court. I am getting stronger in the weight room as well.”

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